The two works on this recording came about under very different circumstances, yet each is inextricably linked to the piano duo 88SQUARED.
Pieces of Reich was originally commissioned by choreographer Benjamin Millepied to act as a prelude (and foil) to Steve Reich’s Music for Pieces of Wood, which I had transcribed for two pianos; together the two works form a ballet for four men. It premiered in London in 2004, and was later adapted to stand alone as a concert work for 88SQUARED (dear friends from our Juilliard days), who premiered it at Carnegie Hall.
Fantasy on a Falling Line was commissioned by 88SQUARED in 2008, but took a number of years to come to fruition. A much more substantial work than its counterpart, the Fantasy consists of seven seamless sections, all of which are based on the very opening sounds from which the work takes its title. Shot through with melancholy, the music is an unrelenting dialogue between its simple namesake falling chords and ominous interruptions, eventually closing as it began, though in mirror fashion. The work was premiere at Fordham University in 2017.
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